Is there any way to send the readers of a Google document to "Viewing" mode instead of the default "Suggesting" mode using a public URL?

With the current behavior it is an administrative burden for the document owner to deny accidental edits by readers that the system sends as suggestions

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    How are sharing the document (edit, view or comment)? – Rubén Sep 8 '17 at 16:16
  • I mean sharing online via a public url, not sharing to specific users with assigned rights to them – George Birbilis Sep 8 '17 at 19:42
  • It's possible to use a public URL to give permissions to edit, view or comment. Check that you set "View" rather than any of the other two permissions. – Rubén Sep 8 '17 at 20:04
  • So, one could have multiple such public URLs, one for Comments and a separate one for View? However, what I would like to have is a public URL where one can see the document in View mode and switch to Comments mode from that button that I think is shown top-rightish – George Birbilis Sep 10 '17 at 13:14
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    Q: "So, one could have multiple such public URLs,..." A: No. – Rubén Sep 10 '17 at 16:33

At this time it's not possible.

The workaround is to make the public URL for view only and that users that want to edit the document request permission to comment.


  • not very useful as it is now I'm afraid – George Birbilis Sep 16 '17 at 23:24

You might want to consider publishing the document to the web instead. Click "File" within Google Docs, and then click "Publish to the web".

This is different from just sharing a public to the Google document, as the version that is published to the web hides all Google Docs controls.

  • contributions to the doc are wanted, but the author of the doc doesn't want to have it published by default in editing mode, but in reading mode instead to avoid accidental editing by readers (which ends up as silly [for accidental edits] suggestions sent to the author) – George Birbilis Jul 16 '20 at 22:19

When creating the link to the Google Doc that you want to share, make sure to set its permission to "Viewer", instead of "Commenter" or "Editor".

(See the documentation.)

  • see comments above, commenting permission is wanted, but the user should explicitly switch to that mode to avoid accidental edits – George Birbilis Jul 16 '20 at 22:20

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